Organic Apple Picking near Montreal
Last year, I spent hours searching online for an orchard near Montreal where we could pick organic apples. It wasn’t an easy task. That is until I was referred to Île Saint-Bernard by another local mom. Everything that I was looking for – organic apple picking near Montreal (45 minute drive or less) and kids’ activities – did exist, with even more than I could ask for.
After learning that the apples at this orchard run out within the first weekend, this year, I discovered a second option at Verger à la Croisée des Pommes. Keep reading for accounts of our visits at both orchards.
Pesticide-Free Picking: Île Saint-Bernard
This chemical-free orchard is certified by Ecocert Canada and knowing how apples rank on the dirty dozen list, and how many bags of apples we typically bring home, I wanted to minimize the pesticides we’d be picking. Not to mention, all of the sampling that takes place out in the orchard! There are over 1000 trees with 15+ varieties of apples including: Honey Crisp Liberty, Lobo, Cortland, Macintosh and more. Last year, we actually discovered a few new delicious varieties too.
On our visit last year, the children were greeted with a tractor ride. It was a short journey but a great start. There were games and cutouts for photo opportunities and an artisan market with many delicious treats. No, it doesn’t compare to the amazing activities at Quinn Farm but my pumpkins don’t have to be organic so we’ll save that trip for October…
About the Island
Aside from the apple picking, Île Saint Bernard is a little piece of paradise just outside the city. Most apple orchards are located on farmland but this one is absolutely picturesque, lying on the banks of Lac Saint-Louis. There is a quaint café and restaurant, picnic tables, hiking trails, boat tours and much more. It’s a great place to spend a day out in nature.
When to Go
Located off the island on Châteauguay, the catch with this organic orchard is that it’s only open for a few weeks of the year. The 2018 season begins on the weekend of September 22 and will last for about two short weeks, or until all the apples are gone. Last year, we waited until the final weekend to make the trip and some of the trees had already been thoroughly picked so I highly suggest planning to be there for opening weekend.
Organic Apples in Oka: À La Croisée des Pommes
Located about 45 minutes from Montreal in Saint Joseph sur le Lac, this organic apple orchard is more of what you would expect from a family friendly orchard. Complete with a tractor ride, play park, petting zoo (llamas anyone?) and the most delicious donuts and cider in the patisserie.
Eighteen types of apples are available throughout the season but on our visit we only caught sight of the McInstosh and Lobo varieties. Other organic fruits are available for picking including grapes, plums and pears.
When to Go
The organic apple picking season at this orchard runs from August to October, ensuring that there is plenty of produce throughout the fall. Just remember to bring along your own reusable bag and you will be able to pick and pay by the pound, while doing good for the planet too.